We’ve featured the event before, so we needed a new angle for this article about Festivale 2013. Previously, we’ve attended on Saturday during daylight hours. So this year, we went along on Friday evening, the opening night of the festival. And guess what… we had an equally impressive time! No matter when you go, it’s undoubtedly one of the great things to do in Tasmania.
We really hope the winner of our Festivale 2013 giveaway enjoyed the event too. It would be hard not to enjoy such a stunning location… City Park in Launceston could not be more perfect for a food and wine festival.
There was room to move, despite a very large crowd. Lots of green lawn with shady trees, perfect for picnic blankets; and plenty of tables and chairs spread around the venue. Some really clever and organised people had brought their own folding chairs, and a few even had tables. We must remember that idea for next year.
Parking on Friday evening was a breeze. With so many people in attendance, we were very surprised to find a space for the car about 200 metres from the entrance. Maybe patrons leave their cars at home so they’re free to sample the multitude of wine, cider, whisky and beer on offer? There was certainly a variety of unique and interesting flavours to taste, with Festivale 2013 wine glasses sold in two sizes.
Tasmanian Food and Drink: Launceston City Park
The beverage selection far outweighed that of food, but there was still something to please everyone. We spoke with three gorgeous ladies from Brisbane in Queensland to gauge their opinion of Festivale. They enjoyed their evening enough to be planning a return visit on the Sunday. Two from the group were vegetarians (one of those also gluten intolerant) and they were drawn to the Garden of Vegan stall.
Gavin chose chilli mussels because he loves seafood. He was also on a mission to buy cider for me; one stall sold mussels and cider, making the decision much easier. As the night wore on, coffee and desserts were sourced and enjoyed.
Stephanie Alexander was on hand, acting as judge for the Festivale Best Stall Awards. And speaking of awards, don’t forget to enter your images for a chance to win the Festivale Photography Prize (only open until February 15, so be super quick).
Music and Entertainment
The music was awesome. The Bomb Squad were just wrapping up when we arrived, and by 7:15pm the Fabulous Picasso Brothers were on stage. I can’t guarantee they’re brothers, but I would agree they were fabulous. Following them… Funkin’ Unbelievable. By this stage, the Queensland girls were up and dancing!
There was a $20 entrance fee charged for the Friday evening session of Festivale 2013, which seems reasonable. Kids under 14 were admitted for free, which we always love to see at Think Tasmania. Roving entertainers provided extra amusement, if you needed more than food, wine and music. Lionel and Ritchie, a pair of lions from Almost Tame were funny and cheeky. The lion-tamer was actually on stilts, which is pretty damn clever.
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